This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Buyer Beware: 5 Tips For Purchasing Long-term Care Insurance

Be prepared to pay more for less coverage than you would have a decade ago if you're shopping for long-term care insurance.

While some insurers have left the market altogether, others have hiked premiums, made it harder to qualify for coverage, and eliminated the most generous options, such as unlimited lifetime benefits. (See: Leaner and meaner: 7 long-term care insurance changes you need to know.)

Here are tips for shopping in today's tough market:

1. Don't delay purchasing long-term care insurance.

Apply for long-term care insurance while you're still young enough to qualify for the best rates. (See: " Tips for buying long-term care insurance amid rising rates.")

The longer you wait the greater the chances that you develop a health problem, which could make qualifying for coverage difficult, says Murray Gordon, founder and CEO of MAGA Ltd., a long-term care insurance agency in the Chicago area. That's especially true going forward as insurers tighten up their underwriting standards.

Most people purchase coverage sometime between ages 55 and 62, says Lisa McAree, a long-term care insurance specialist in Boston.

"By age 55 you should be looking at long-term care insurance seriously," she says.

2. Know how Medicare and Medicaid work with long-term care insurance.

Although some big players have left the long-term care insurance market, McAree says, "I wouldn't be too nervous about it." She and other long-term care specialists see the market as evolving rather than disappearing.

"Insurance companies have gone in and out of markets for years," she says. "Long-term care is a risk everyone's trying to figure out."

You should, too, whether you decide to self-insure by saving on your own for care, or by buying long-term care insurance. Health insurance, including Medicare, generally doesn't cover long-term care, and you have to spend most of your assets before Medicaid will pay for a nursing home stay.

3. Buying long-term care insurance on a budget? Go for "short and fat."

When you select long-term care insurance you choose how many years the benefits last and how much you can spend each day. A "short and fat" policy means the benefits last for a shorter amount of time, but the daily amount is larger than a "long and thin" policy.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs